There are two signed photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Deaf Museum. One is a photograph in colour of Diana wearing a hat and a lacy dress. It is signed Diana November 1983 and the other signed black and white photograph dated 1992 shows the Princess wearing a diamond tiara and embroidered dress. It bears a plaque inscribed Diana, Princess of Wales, Patron of The BDA 1983-1996. The photographs come from the British Deaf Association Collection, currently stored in the Deaf Museum.
Diana as the Patron of the BDA
Diana, Princess of Wales, accepted an invitation to be the Royal Patron of the British Deaf Association in 1983. She learned British Sign Language and she was greatly admired by Deaf people for learning British Sign Language. She was the first Royal to sign in public although several Royal members past and present have been known to communicate in sign language and fingerspelling but never in public. She signed BSL to over 800 delegates at the BDA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Congress in Brighton, East Sussex, in 1990. She often visited schools for deaf children. She was an inspiration to the Deaf community as her signing in public had attracted the attention of the media, bringing awareness of deafness to the public. She stepped down from her role as the Patron shortly before her divorce from HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996.